The U.S. Forest Service Friday urged those planning to enjoy the Angeles National Forest during Labor Day weekend to spread out, warning that traffic congestion can prevent emergency vehicles from reaching wildfires.
"The Angeles National Forest is anticipating another record weekend turnout this Labor Day, as Southern California crowds flock to the forest to escape high temperatures. With large numbers of visitors comes increased traffic and congestion on mountain roads, visitor trash and increased risk of wildfires," the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.
Visitors are encouraged to travel to the forest's higher elevations to avoid crowding.
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"Driving an extra 30-minutes can easily take you into the high country, where visitors will find spectacular vistas, along with needed space to roam, explore and enjoy the outdoors experience," the U.S. Forest service said.
Forest officials are hoping to avoid traffic congestion, which occurred on July 12th, when emergency vehicles were attempting to drive to the site of a wildfire, but were slowed by congestion and cars parked along roadsides, officials said.
Access to Chantry Flat and Millard Canyon Campgrounds will be temporarily closed to limit crowding and fire risk in restrictive areas of the mountain canyons, according to forest officials. The sites will reopen after Labor Day weekend.
Officials asked that visitors be respectful of nature and keep in mind that 95% of wildfires in California are human-caused.
"This Labor Day weekend's high temperatures, low humidity and dry vegetation raise concerns in what has already been an above-normal fire season across California."